As of November 1, 2023, most juveniles will no longer have to register as a sex offender and be eligible to seal their convictions. Law enforcement will start removing eligible people from the registry soon and mailing letters confirming they have been removed. If you receive a letter indicating that you have been removed from the registry, please contact our office for a free consultation to determine if you are eligible to seal your offense.

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Juvenile crime, grandparent support

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Juvenile offenses |

In Washington and throughout the country, there is a mental health crisis. More people than ever before are experiencing issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder and numerous other conditions that impede their quality of life. Sadly, these issues do not escape the younger population, and data shows a connection between mental health problems and juvenile crime. These issues are greatly concerning to many grandparents, who wonder how they can support and help their grandchildren.

There are several ways grandparents can be proactive to encourage and support juvenile health for their grandchildren. Such problems are not uncommon, especially when family issues, puberty, social status and finances are factored in. Many teenagers are struggling in life, and their grandparents may be able to help them avoid getting involved in activities that will spark serious legal problems.

Grandparents may play a key role to help teens avoid juvenile crime

There is no “quick fix” when it comes to helping younger generations resolve mental health issues that may come and go throughout their teenage years. However, the following list shows tangible ways grandparents can provide encouragement and support in their grandchildren’s lives:

  • Always make sure your grandchildren know they can share their thoughts and opinions with you, without any fear of judgement or repercussion.
  • Share simple joys with your grandkids on a regular basis, such as taking them out for ice cream, for a walk in the forest or sitting on a porch swing to listen to birdsong and other evening or morning sounds.
  • Be careful to “know your place” as a grandparent, which is quite different than being a parent.
  • Provide encouragement, support and assistance to your adult children who are the parents of your grandchildren, which helps bring all three generations closer together.
  • Be a good listener and share time with your grandkids without always feeling like you must fix their problems for them.

Stress and unpleasant events are part of life, even for teenagers. Part of being a good grandparent and making a positive impact in your grandchildren’s lives is to give them space to work through their problems and to learn that sadness, stress or even serious problems are a normal part of life, but do not mean that life isn’t worth living.

If your grandchild faces accusations for a juvenile crime

Grandparents can set good examples for their adult children and grandchildren. However, they can’t control other people’s behavior or decisions. If your grandchild gets into trouble with the law, the best thing you can do is be there to support the family and, perhaps, recommend helpful resources to them, such as community counseling groups for substance abuse or legal support to help them navigate juvenile defense issues.